The Taming of Mairi MacKenzie
A Scrolls of Cridhe novella
A forbidden love so powerful it could destroy them both.
Mairi MacKenzie can bring the dead back to life. But her fame as this special healer is a curse too much to bear, and she takes refuge in the ancient broch of Dunwynde, the Glen of Winds, her secret, well-guarded home. Many are her reasons for hiding from the world, allowing folk to believe she’s a banshee. Clan MacKenzie protects her as one of their dearest treasures. Only Mairi knows how unworthy she is of her clan’s devotion.Sir Gare MacTaggert only desires redemption. Once counted amongst
’s greatest warriors, he hasn’t lifted a sword in years because of a battlefield tragedy that broke his soul. All that is left to him is his clan and his home, and now he stands to lose them as well. Scotland ’s crown wants his corner of the realm strengthened and so a King’s writ has ordered him to forge an alliance – through marriage.Yet his honor won’t allow him to wed any woman, dead as he is inside. He seeks the aid of the Glen of Winds banshee, but before she can restore his will to live, they must face a greater challenge: the forbidden love that could destroy them. Scotland
USA Today bestselling author, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, is most defined by her passion for
Scotland. She also loves animals, medieval history, and the paranormal. She puts her pen where her heart is, writing Scottish romance with a touch of Highland magic. A former flight attendant, she’s proud of her Hebridean ancestry, spent fifteen years in Europe, and visits Scotland as often as she can. She’s devoted to her Jack Russell terrier, enjoys living quietly, and shares her desk with her alter-ego, Allie Mackay, who writes Scottish-set contemporary paranormals. Sue-Ellen is married and resides on Florida’s . Gulf Coast
KBM: Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your books.
SEW/AM: Here’s a mini bio:
USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder aka Allie Mackay writes Scottish historical romance and contemporary paranormal romance. Whether writing as herself or her alter-ego, her tales always have a touch of Highland magic.
Anyone interested in more detail can visit my website: www.welfonder.com
KBM: How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?
SEW/AM: Under my real name (Welfonder), I write Scottish medieval with alpha heroes and strong heroines. As Allie Mackay, I write Scottish paranormal romance (mostly time travels) with modern day American heroines traveling to Scotland where they meet their medieval Highland heroes. My Allie Mackay stories are light-hearted with a touch of humor. Anything I write, under either name, will have Highland magic and lots of atmosphere. A powerful sense of place is important to me and my favorite reader compliment is that reading my books transports the reader to the world of my stories. That they feel as if they’d actually been to Scotland through reading the books.
KBM: What inspired you to start writing?
SEW/AM: I just sort of fell into writing about 15 years ago when a published author friend encouraged me. She was the late Becky Lee Weyrich, time travel queen of the 80s and 90s. At the time I was a flight attendant. (flying was my dream job) I’d send Becky long letters detailing my adventures in far-flung corners of the globe. She told me that reading my letters ‘made her feel as if she were right there with me,’ and so she urged me to write. I did, on a fluke, really, and my first book sold, totally surprising me. That book was DEVIL IN A KILT, a Scottish medieval, which remains a reader favorite.
KBM: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
SEW/AM: Laughing too hard to answer this. Writing is so all-consuming that very little time or energy remains to do anything else. One thing I do daily is walk several miles. I also cycle a lot. It is very, very important to me to get away from my desk, out in the fresh air and nature. (I am a tree-hugger, animal nut, and nature lover)
I used to love gardening and cooking and baking. Alas, these days I have little time to enjoy these pleasures.
KBM: What books did you read as a child?
SEW/AM: I devoured Childcraft books, then Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. I even formed and ran a Nancy Drew fan club in my neighborhood. My mother read to me in the cradle and so I have always loved books and reading.
KBM: Do you listen to music while you write?
SEW/AM: Yes, but only without words. Singing distracts me. I love classical and New Age music. Celtic, too, but only without singing, which isn’t easy to find, sadly.
KBM: Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?
SEW/AM: Devorgilla, a magical and meddlesome crone (Highland cailleach) who is a recurring character in all my books. She even helps me on FB now and then.
KBM: What is your dream vacation destination?
SEW/AM: Scotland. Been many times, always love returning.
KBM: Where can fans find you?
(A wee glimpse at the hero and heroine’s first meeting.)
“I must ask you to leave.” There, she’d said what she must.
Go before my heart yearns for you as fiercely as my woman’s body already does.
Dear heavens, he smelled of sandalwood, clean wool, leather, cold air and man, and the heady blend was fuzzing her wits, making her vulnerable. Worse, he had a way of looking at her that made her feel as if he’d actually touched her, and in intimate, sensual ways!
Mairi’s pulse quickened, a tingling, long-forgotten warmth pooling low by her thighs.
No virgin, she’d once loved well and had never denied herself passion. She recognized the danger of this man, with his alluring scent and potent virility. His tall, well-muscled body, surely hard as iron. His strong, beautiful hands that reminded her of the pleasures a skilled lover’s questing fingers could give a woman.
Joys she hadn’t known in so long.
“See here, I can do nothing for you,” she started again, sure she was glowering. “Nor can you sleep here.” She indicated the rock-sided glen, the boulder-strewn ground. “Even if I wished you to stay, there isn’t enough bracken to make the thinnest pallet.”
His gaze locked with hers, and something in his expression told her she was losing. “My dog and I can sleep on the ground.” He spoke as if everything was settled. “We have done so most nights of our journey. I need no more than my plaid, and Troll is well-furred enough to no’ feel the rocks beneath him.”
“Very well.” Mairi nodded, sure resistance was futile. “But you’ll leave on the morrow.”
“If you say you cannae help me, aye.”
“I’m telling you that now.”
“It is said you have brought back the breath of life to the coldest of the damned.” His words pierced her heart, making her soul ache. “Your fame is on every bard’s tongue, the wonders you have wrought, the miracles-”
“The tales are untrue.” Mairi tucked her hair behind an ear, kept her chin raised. “No one can bring the dead back to life.”
“Yet you have done so.”
He stepped closer and gripped her arm, his touch sending ripples of awareness through her. “I wouldn’t be here if my request wasn’t dire, my lady. All I ask is that you restore-”
“I regret you’ve lost someone.” She did, especially that she couldn’t do what he wanted.
She knew the pain of heartache.
So before she could think better of it, she lifted her hand to his face and touched his cheek, slid her fingers along his beard. “I do wish I could help you, but all I can offer is my sympathy.”
“You misunderstand.” He caught her hand, lacing their fingers, squeezing tight. Determination burned in his eyes. “The dead I want you to revive is a man who hasn’t truly died. He stands before you.”
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